PHOENIX — The 49ers placed 24 players on injured reserve in 2017, and 17 members of the organization spent time on IR last season.
CEO Jed York said he was almost the 18th.
The past several seasons have been frustrating for both fans and York alike, especially when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3 last season.
“I’m glad I wasn’t on IR,” York said Sunday at the NFL owners meeting. “I was close in Kansas City. I thought I broke my wrist in Kansas City when I heard he tore his ACL.”
Now that some time has passed, York was able to explain the incident with a chuckle.
“It was a good punch,” York said. “Unfortunately, it was a stud. You’ve got to find the dry wall. That’s the key. It looks so much better to put a hole through the wall, as opposed to finding the stud.”
York said he has since moved past the frustration from that fateful day in Kansas City, which changed the trajectory of the 49ers' season. He put a positive spin on the injuries of Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon, who tore his ACL a week before the start of the regular season. Garoppolo is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation, York said, while McKinnon is right on pace. Both are expected to be cleared to participate fully in training camp.
“I think our guys have been very strong-willed and tough-minded,” York said. “They are able to fight through those things. It allows you to build character on your team, and I hope that will serve us well going forward.”
York said he has been keeping an eye on his franchise quarterback, and is excited for the season to come. He's also been able to put the 49ers' spate of injuries, which prompted an overhaul of their training staff, in perspective.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s football,” York said.